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Charter fishing on decline in face of fuel costs

READ MORE: Charter fishing on decline in face of fuel costs
WILMINGTON -- Grab your fishing rod, bait and tackle -- fishing season is upon us. But recent weather, and more importantly, fuel prices, have some charter fishermen concerned for the coming months. Tommy Lorenzin is the first mate on the blue marlin...a charter fishing boat that takes people as far out as the Gulf Stream. Lorenzin said, "When I started doing it 16 years ago diesel fuel was 79 cents a gallon and you could go to the Gulf Stream for $950. Right now we're paying over $3.50 a gallon and it's closer to $2,000 to go to the Gulf Stream." Weather patterns have moved the Gulf Stream farther offshore this year. That means a longer trip there, using more fuel. The fishing boats at Carolina Beach docks are open for business and ready to go. But with it costing crew members about $1,300 to fill up one of these boats, people looking for a fun day out on the water can expect to pay more than in years past. Lorenzin says he and his crew are charging 25 percent more for offshore trips this year. Captain Fred Holland realizes that could put a damper on some vacations. Holland said, "When the six guys at the office or the plant want to get together and come down and they look at what it's going to cost them to get here -- and then what it's going to cost them to fish -- it's becoming prohibitive." A trip on the Blue Marlin will cost you anywhere from $600-$1,700. Thanks to fuel-saving techniques fishing trips closer to shore aren't costing much more than in years past "The fish might be where you really want to fish 30 miles. Instead of running the boat all the way there, we might stop in ten miles short of there and pick some fish along the way and at trolling speed as opposed to running the boat and save a good bit of fuel that way," Holland said. While their phones aren't ringing as much as they'd like the fishermen remain optimistic. Lorenzin says no matter what, there are always people who want to fish. The fishermen hope business picks up soon after the wind dies down. They'll also rely on short, inshore trips this summer that don't cost as much as going offshore.

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gas on the water

want to save money and still be able to go boating? get yourself a gas caddy. I keep my boat in the water and filling up 200 gallons is quite expensive. the gas caddy saves me over a dollar a gallon, plus I can write off the road tax at the end of the year. it makes those gulfstream weekend trips a little easier.

Wanna play, gotta pay.....

I love fishing offshore for big game fish. I love big boats, especially a sleek, custom built Carolina Sportfisherman. It is unfortunately becoming a rich man's sport. Fuel costs affect all of us, especially people running big boats, big trucks, aircraft and heavy equipment. The charter Captains love to fish, and they love to see their party's catch fish even more. The average Joe just can't afford to book a charter @ 1700 clams. Even if you load up on the meatfish, you still have way more into it than if you went to the fishmarket. That 1700 clams doesn't guarentee that you will catch fish either. My heart is out to all of these charter Captains as this is their life, their blood and their living that is being squeezed out. Fuel costs are only a piece of what it takes to run a big boat. There is constant maintenance, equipment, tackle, bait, insurance, licenses, Mates to pay and expensive slip fees just to name a few. We have people now that are trying to figure a budget that will allow them enough fuel to get to work plus be able to put food on the table and clothes on their childrens backs. Fun outings such as fishing that used to be affordable once or twice a year will have to take a backseat, if it even gets ANY consideration. For those of us that live within our means, it's called surviving. I wish I could grab my rod and go with them!

Fuel prices absurd on the waterways !

Talk about robbery... Granted fuel has always been a "bit" higher on the water than at the regular pump... But this past Sunday at Dockside.. Unleaded was $4.89 per gallon and diesel was $4.99 per gallon... Talk about GOUGING.. No wonder these fishermen cannot afford to fill up ! Over a dollar and a half MORE to fill up at the marina... Firckin absurd

YOU ARE SO RIGHT

YOU ARE SO RIGHT THEY SHOULD HAVE A SAUDI FLAG ON THEIR DOCKS.

My Gosh!That's insane! I

My Gosh!That's insane! I can't believe in times like this,people will take advantage with price gouging. Sad.